UTAS researchers survey driver aggro

Driving attitudes

University of Tasmania researchers want to talk to Tasmanian licensed drivers about their aggressive driving habits.

As the often-stressful Christmas period arrives, Dr Allison Matthews and Dr Raimondo Bruno at the School of Psychology will gather information on aggressive driving and how angry people get when they are driving.

The research is funded by Claremont Rotary Rotary Club in conjunction with the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund.

“We’re also interested in chief crash risk factors such as speeding, inattentiveness and driving under the influence,” Dr Matthews said.

“From the answers people give on our online survey we’ll be examining the role particular beliefs and experiences play in road safety on Tasmanian roads.

“Understanding this will help to develop better road safety education campaigns and processes.”

Research suggests aggressive driving behaviour is on the rise in some countries but there is little research on aggressive driving in Australia.

“Aggressive driving may range from the experience of intense anger while driving to engaging in risky behaviours (e.g., running red lights, weaving in traffic, tailgating) in an attempt to save time or out of frustration,” Dr Matthews said.

“Aggressive behaviour may also extend to intentional acts of aggression (physical verbal or gestured) towards other road users, commonly known as ‘road rage’.”

The General Manager of RACT Vince Taskunas supports the survey and recommends RACT members volunteer to complete it.

TO BE INVOLVED IN THE SURVEY: licensed drivers (17 years or over) who live in Tasmania and who have driven a vehicle on the road in the last month can complete an anonymous and confidential 30 minute online survey.

Questions ask about driving experience, driving practices, road crashes, driving anger and views about how particular driving practices affect road safety.

To thank them for participation, volunteers can enter a prize draw to win one of three 32GB Apple iPads.

Volunteers should visit www.driving-attitudes.utas.edu.au to complete the survey online. Those who cannot complete the survey online can request a postal survey by phoning 6226 8515.

For further information contact Dr Allison Matthews, ph. (03) 6226 2945